Friday 13th Blessing

Here’s a cracking article from The Baptist Times, written by Paul Hobson about Bethel Baptist church, Whitchurch, Cardiff.

Lucky for some 

A Cardiff church finds that Friday 13th is a good day to talk about Jesus 

By Paul Hobson 

THE BAD luck myths which accompany Friday 13 were gently dispelled in a South Wales suburb earlier this month. 

In an imaginative outreach, members of Bethel Baptist Church in Whitchurch, Cardiff, decided to share some good news on a bad day. 

The congregation handed out 160 leaflets laying out a Christian response to the date, offered blessings and encouraged around 70 people to take part in a short survey on superstitious beliefs. 

In so doing they had some e x c i t i n g a n d e n c o u r a g i n g encounters. ‘They were some great moments,’ said Bethel’s assistant minister t he Revd J onathan Vaughan-Davies. 

He explained that the idea came about following a conversation a couple of weeks previously with somebody in a coffee shop. The man told him he was dreading an operation because it was on Friday 13. 

‘I chatted to him about why he was afraid of Friday 13, and later I just thought it was a huge opportunity to share some hope,’ said Mr Vaughan-Davies. 

‘We thought if we could stop and engage people, it could be a real moment.’ 

He broached his thoughts with his congregation, and 10 were able to join him. They went out in pairs offering the leaflets, and encouraging people to take part in the questionnaire. 

Mr Vaughan-Davies also set up a table in the middle of Whitchurch with a sign saying ‘Blessings for a Bad Day’, and a bowl containing blessings in the form of scripture and prayers. 

Around 10 were happy to accept a blessing. Several encounters proved s ignificant. One l ady was going to see her daughter in hospital. She revealed her husband had died two years previously, and her fears about who would look after her should her daughter die. 

The blessing she randomly selected from the bowl read, ‘God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble’, (Psalm 46:1) ‘Something in her leapt when she read it,’ said Mr VaughanDavies. 

Another spoke about how her husband had recently walked out on her. Her blessing was Isaiah 41:10 ‘Fear not for I am with you, declares the Lord.’ 

The survey also threw up some interesting responses. Seventynine per cent either disagreed or strongly disagreed with the statement ‘Friday 13 is an unlucky day.’ 

And more than 50 per cent of people agreed that God exists and has a plan for our lives, and that God can help one overcome fears. 

‘This is a real encouragement for us,’ said Mr Vaughan-Davies. ‘We do get a b l eak p i c t ure sometimes, but it’s just not true.’ 

‘I believe God really blessed the day,’ he continued. ‘People stopped and you could see them talking for ages. It’s the first time we have done it. On the one hand we were nervous and scared, but by the end we were buzzing.’ 

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